It seems that fashion marketers are finally starting to acknowledge that women over 40 also have a fantastic sense of style. No longer are advertisements solely of 18-year-old stick thin little girls, but major brands are embracing the more mature woman. This is something pointed out by Haj Gueye during a recent discussion.
It should come as no surprise that this market is growing. Women like Tyra Banks, Twiggy, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Anniston, and so on, were fashion icons in their younger days, but they have not disappeared from our screens just because they became older than 40. Rather, they empowered other women to continue to love their own skin and body, being proud of who they are.
There is an important reality that fashion retailers need to become aware of, which is that many women are now over 50. In fact, in 2019, one third of all women was over 55. And the other important reality is that it is these women who have not just the greatest spending power, but who are also more likely to invest in clothing from more high-quality brands. In fact, in 2019, the womenswear market for women aged over 55 was over £23 billion worldwide.
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Another key development is that online shopping is becoming more common among the older generation. While the majority of shoppers still go to stores for their clothes, a good percentage of women over the age of 55 shop exclusively online.
One fashion retailer said: “The online female shopper aged 55 and over is the ideal client. These women are elegant and they want to look good. They are inspired by iconic women such as Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep, and they are not afraid to pay for quality. Their problem is, however, that they have very few choices available to them, because so many fashion retailers continue to focus solely on the younger shopper.”
So what does this all mean? According to the retailer: “In order to be competitive in today’s market, you also have to be relevant. You have to have a store in which a woman over 50 feels as comfortable as a girl of 21. At the same time, you need to have a functional website with an excellent customer service policy, accessible to people of all ages.”